Halloween is an exciting time of year for families. If you are a family that includes a child with Autism, it may also be a time of trepidation. Here are some tips to help this holiday be fun and less stressful for all your family.
I cannot believe that it has been 10 years since I opened CTAC! When we opened in 2003, there were no centers offering ABA Therapy and VB Therapy for children with Autism in Central Texas. In fact, there were very few in the whole state of Texas. I was in the first group of professionals to sit for the Texas Certified Behavior Analyst exam in 1999 (which later became the BCBA). I had the honor and privilege of being an associate for Dr. Vince Carbone for 10 years. I received all of my supervision from him, worked in school districts and home programs with him and then travelled around the world lecturing and working with families and professionals with his guidance.
In 2002-2003, Dr. Carbone was considering moving back to New York from Florida and opening a clinic (now the Carbone Clinic). At the same time, one of the private schools we were consulting with in Austin had a rather large waiting list of children needing our services. With Dr. Carbone’s guidance, we decided that I would move from Dallas to Austin and start the Horizon Clinic to supplement the Horizon program at the Capitol School of Austin. We piloted the clinical model there with great success. With the blessing of Capitol School, I then started my own clinic (CTAC) and moved the staff and clients to our location in Westlake. I succeeded in my primary goal of providing the highest quality therapy by hiring professional therapists, which enabled us to maintain quality and consistency in programming.
My secondary goal was to continue to work with school districts and other agencies in my home state of Texas to be able to provide quality programming in public schools. Through the clinic and outreach consulting programs, my goal was to be able to reach 100’s of children annually, including those that could not afford private services, as Texas does not have state funding for ABA therapy as in other states such as California and New York.
Many of the staff members that started CTAC with me are still with us. Some have moved on to further graduate degrees or to start families of their own. Many of the children we served that first year have now graduated from high school and their families still keep in touch letting us know of all the great accomplishments their kids have made. One CTAC graduate will be volunteering here this summer. Her personal goal is to help special needs children.
It’s been an amazing journey and an honor to work with such amazing children, their families and my incredible staff! You have taught me so much and I look forward to the next 10 years.